THE criticism of Strathfieldsaye Storm for recruiting former St Kilda footballer Stephen Milne was always going to arrive.
Milne is already one of those sportsmen on which everyone has an opinion. But it's the rape charges he faces that were going to prove most controversial for Strathfieldsaye Storm.
They must have thought long and hard about this when the opportunity to recruit Milne for the 2014 season arose.
In deciding to sign him, they surely must have been prepared for criticism such as that delivered by Bendigo Football Netball League board member Dr Carol McKinstry this week.
Dr McKinstry questioned the message signing and championing a player facing such serious criminal charges as rape sends to all women involved in football.
Such an opinion is valid and justified but equally as important is Dr McKinstry's recognition that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Whatever you think of Stephen Milne, the fact is he is yet to have his day in court.
The legal system has granted him bail on these charges and with that the right to continue on with his life until that day arrives.
He has chosen to play football in Bendigo.
Whether Strathfieldsaye Storm should have waited for the court proceedings to take their course before recruiting Milne is a matter for you to decide and the club to defend.
Ultimately, the legal system will deliver the final verdict on this issue and everyone will then rightfully face the consequences of their decisions.
Until that day arrives the debate over Milne's presence in Bendigo will surely continue on.